VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. — Officials on Wednesday released body camera and Air One footage showing the dramatic shootout between Volusia County deputies and two children.
Deputies said the shootout originated from a report of two runaways from the Florida United Methodist Children’s Home.
The footage shows that the 12-year-old boy, Travis O’Brien, surrendered soon after the 14-year-old girl, Nicole Jackson, was hit by gunfire when she pointed a shotgun at one of the deputies. She was in “critical but stable condition” at an area hospital as of Wednesday afternoon, Chitwood said.
See the full video below. Warning: Contains graphic content:
Chitwood said during the news conference on Wednesday that Jackson is “alive today because of the effort” of the deputies who administered aid following the shooting.
Chitwood said that once the children ran away from their group home and were hiding out, they saw a family leaving their house on Enterprise Osteen Road and decided to break in.
Once inside, they saw an award the homeowner had received from the Brevard County’s Sheriff’s Office.
The children, Chitwood said, may have mistakenly thought they were in a deputy’s home. That’s why the sheriff thinks they smashed appliances and ruined furniture in an effort to hurt law enforcement.
Then the children got hold of the guns, and things took a dangerous turn.
Both children fired at deputies several times throughout the incident as deputies attempted to resolve it peacefully, the sheriff’s office reported. No deputies nor O’Brien was injured.
Chitwood said the 12-year-old was questioned after being detained and told deputies Jackson wanted to “roll this down like GTA,” referring to the violent video game “Grand Theft Auto.”
Chitwood said the two took over the house they broke into, armed themselves with the homeowners’ AK-47 assault rifle, a pump shotgun, a pistol and had 200 rounds of ammo at the ready.
“They just went to town,” he said. “How does a 12-year-old and 14-year-old (get) so full of hate?”
O’Brien has no prior record but was suspended twice from school this past year for making threats against staff and students. He has been in foster care since 2016, Chitwood said.
Jackson was arrested previously for stealing puppies. Chitwood said he previously misspoke when he said the girl had been arrested for setting fire to a halfway home in Flagler County; she was arrested for setting fires in a lot.
“This young lady needs a lot of help,” Chitwood said Wednesday.
As he did during Tuesday night’s initial news conference, Chitwood on Wednesday blasted the state’s juvenile justice system and its response to young, violent criminals.
“The juvenile justice system is broken,” he said. “We have an awful lot of violent criminals that are teenagers.”
Both children are facing charges of attempted first-degree murder of law enforcement and armed burglary.